Got a pvmpovray cluster of 11 computers for rendering...

hi, just thought I’d let people know that we have set up a cluster of 11 machines using pvmpovray.
If anyone’s interested in exporting their big blender scenes to a povray folder with the good povanim script, just email me or send me a PM with that folder bzipped and I’ll run it through. It will work with animations, but please do note that it won’t use any ini files for the moment, so if you want to tweak something, please don’t do so in the ini file, but rather in the blender file before you export it. I can also specify a couple of options by hand in the command line.
Please note, this is to help individuals who create scenes on their own to ease the load of rendering off their machines, not for professional artists or organizations that do not have the power to do so. If you are going to want to make money off your renders, contact me separately, and we can always talk about possibilities.

In your email or PM:
-Do include how many frames you want, as I have to specify that by hand.
-Include either a link or the bzipped or tarred folder of your povanim export. I will NOT download all files separately from a web folder.
-Include how you want me to send the output back to you : email, webpage, post on elysiun…
-Whether the file or output scene is to be shared immediately with the community or not, you may send “drafts” for a test render and supply me with an update later. The cluster has plenty of power, and I can also tweak the quality settings from the command line.

Don’t hesitate to send me a .blend file if you can’t manage to get the povanim script to work. I hope people out there will grab the opportunity of having access to a “super computer” for free.

Free clustering ey? you wouldn’t by chance be interested in running yafray on your cluster? it does quite well in an openmosix enviroment (it’s claimed to scale x19 in a 19 node cluster), there is a great openmosix live cd at

don’t have openmosix running… I use PVM…
I’ll have a look at your openmosix liveCD though. But the master node is debian, and the terminals boot through LTSP, as diskless workstations. So if I get Openmosix to work on the master node, then yes, maybe. But the povanim script works quite well, and that’s what I’ll stick to for the moment.

well i am not working with pov but i just wanted to say thank you for this
oppertunity since you do it for free.

maybe advertice this link more on elysiun!!!


This is brilliant, I have no major renders on povray at the moment, but when (if %| ) my dynamics script starts to work properly, I will.

Thanks for offering this,

i might possibly be able to get goofster to apend my article on free stuff :smiley:

add in free rendering :stuck_out_tongue:


so - your’e telling that Yafray works with OpenMosix? I tried to run Blender and render something with OpenMosix but it did not split the process of rendering. AFAIK Open mosix move only the whole processeses, so if the rendering works on single process it won’t split this task among the other nodes. Correct me if I’m wrong please :slight_smile:

I think you’re right about openmosix, it would rather be MPI that would do it I think. Either way, that’s not what I’m running.
Also, just a little note, if you’re going to send me povray files, please note that you need to include any texture image, and make sure it uses relative paths in the pov files too, I’m not going to have time to edit all the files separately.
Thanks for your consideration.

hmmmm - it might be a lame question but what is MPI/PVM anyway ? :expressionless:

I’m asking it because I’ve got access to 8 computers with Athlon2500Mhz and 13 computers with Athlon950Mhz :wink: I guess it could make a quite nice renderfarm…

MPI and PVM are parallel computing librairies.
PVM stands for Parallel Virtual Machine.
If you want to know how to set it up, go to
There’s all the info there.
And those machines would be a hell of a fast cluster! the best machine here is a celeron 733, and the rest are PIIIs 500 or PII 400. Not quite as powerful.
Go ahead to set up your rendering farm. Personally I’m booting one machine as the master with linux installed, and the other boxes connect to it as diskless workstations, using LTSP
Therefore, you don’t need to install linux on every box, just put a boot floppy in, run the server, and boot the slaves. It works fine and optimizes the power (no X interface on the slaves, although you could if you wanted to).
Good luck, hope you find enough directions on those pages to get started.

uhm - wait a sec - will I have to recompile the application (ie. Yafray) to run it on PVM cluster?

yafray won’t run on PVM, it only uses MPI as far as I know, and I’m not even sure how to set that up either. And yes you will have to recompile yafray to do that.

i haven’t tried it myself but i said “claimed” because of this post at the yafray forum

not everyone has a 19 node cluster just lying around

hmmm - I guess we are talking two different things right now - you gave me the post where some guy says that he managed to run yafray using his Dual processor machine, not 2 nodes.

I guess I’ll have to wait for Blender native cluster rendering or try it in 3dsMax :wink:

oh sorry what i meant to send you was this one

YafRay can work in a openmosix cluster compiling it using --enable-fork option. In YafRay 0.0.5 and 0.0.6 this option is broken (doesn’t work). But somebody named Tarka (Steve) has added a patch.

From Tarka:

Currently yafray’s multiprocessor handling is a compile-time option, with
threaded as the default. This patch enables command-line select of three
different types of rendering strategy (monolithic, threaded, forked). As a
bonus it also fixes the broken monolithic render, and implements a partial
fix for the broken forking renderer (multi-pass rendering isn’t fixed yet
so pathlight won’t work). "

This patch is available for testing in YafRay’s bug tracker. Probably, if it works, it will be added to the main development tree of YafRay.

I hope you find this info useful.